May 25, 2016

Etymology Expeditions: Nonsense Words From Lewis Carroll

One day I was bored and amused myself by feeding Lewis Carroll's nonsense words from "Jabberwocky" into Etymology Online. Imagine my surprise when I actually got search results!

Jabberwocky, from 1872, the beast in the poem. Perhaps based on the word "jabber."

Frumious, adj., a blend of fuming and furious.

Galumph "to prance about in a self-satisfied manner," a blend of gallop and triumph.

Carroll (or Dodgson, whichever you prefer) also invented the term portmanteau word for his creations, meaning a word packed with two meanings.

Go on, read the poem. Can't you almost grasp the meanings of the words, even though they are nonsense? Just beautiful. I hope I can come up with something as great as these sometime. I did have a ball making up space pirate slang for a recent short story. Hmm . . . should I add a few nonsense words, just for laughs?


No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello, stranger. What's on your mind?